Silverman provides plenty of fodder
TV PARTY: The best TV show these days is probably the one going on behind the scenes at NBC, where new boss Ben Silverman, apparently prompted by the jokes that started when he took the job, is doing his level best to be a better Ari Gold than the one Jeremy Piven plays on Entourage.
The latest wicked funny news from the now very aptly named peacock network concerns a recent NBC corporate retreat that made the New York Post gossip pages this weekend. Silverman was apparently handing out NBC temporary tattoos to all and sundry, and an unnamed source claims that he had executive vice-president Teri Weinberg and another female exec do “a sexy dance for some of the other executives.”
Silverman denied the story, in essence if not in substance. “I passed out, like, 50 tattoos to people at that retreat, and they put them wherever they wanted,” he told the Post. “It was a fun bonding experience that was consistent with the good values we all possess at NBC. There was no f–ing dancing.”
The source went on to say that Silverman is ruffling feathers and scorching some collars on both coasts by “not returning phone calls for weeks, blowing off meetings and, if he does show up to a meeting, will constantly look at his watch.” You’ve only got to hope that, somewhere, someone is saving all this stuff for a book that will form the basis for a wicked funny cable TV movie about the Silverman regime at NBC.
Silverman responded with some juicy, camera-ready bluster: “Karma’s a bitch in this job,” he told the Post. “If I’m not returning people’s calls, there’s a reason. You can’t be moving as quickly as we are and expect the bottom of the heap to get as much attention. I’m busy returning calls from Fortune 500 CEOs, not some junior agents. You can’t expect me to sit in pitch meetings. Agents hate (that) they can’t control me. (NBC is) not dependent on them. We are proactive.”
If they can get Piven to play Silverman, it will be the postmodern, self-referential TV navel-gazing event of the decade.